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Archive for April 26th, 2010

The Joneses

I try not to give plot spoilers in my reviews, as is often the case the basic plot is given away in the trailer so I will try and limit my spoilers to them.  On the surface The Joneses are a perfect family, Kate (Demi Moore) her husband Steve (David Duchovny) their kids Mick (Ben Hollingsworth) and Jenn (Amber Heard).  They move to a new town and with the trendiest cloths, the flashest cars all the latest gadgets they soon become a hit with their new friends. It soon becomes clear that things aren’t right with this family, for a start they aren’t a family. Like the product placements we are now all familiar with in movies and TV shows these people have been sent into the centre of a community to help sell products.  They do not directly sell the product they merely make people want them much like any other marketing.  They are selling themselves, their lifestyle, their perfect image. Like all advertising its goal is to keep the consumer wheels turning by making us think our likes will be better and happier if we buy shit we don’t need and actually don’t really want.  The consumers are represented by the neighbours Larry (Gary Cole) and his wife Summer (Glenne Headly) who of course (how hard have I tried to avoid saying this) are desperate to keep up with the Joneses.

Beyond her looks I have never seen the appeal of Demi Moore, like her character what will she have left when her looks have gone? David Duchovny is a charismatic and likeable leading man but for a long time his charisma has hidden the fact he can not act! Ben Hollingsworth and particularly Amber Heard do a good job playing the kids.  They are too old for the part but as it is customary for high school kids to be played by actors in their mid twenties it isn’t exactly clear how old they are supposed to be.

The script and direction are sloppy, the movie can’t decide if it wants who be light and fluffy or sharp and cutting.  Threads of the plot are opened up but never really explored leaving only Steve and Kates relationship as the only real ongoing thread, this begs the question why bother, if the filmmakers wanted to make a romantic drama or comedy why didn’t they do that instead of messing around with a pseudo satire.  It really isn’t a bad movie there isn’t a huge amount drastically wrong with it, there just isn’t anything really right with it and it just feels like there is something missing. The biggest problem everything the movie is trying to tell us has already been done countless times for example I give you Mr Tyler Durden: “Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need

Two Stars out of Five

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